HNC Childhood Practice
“I had the life experience but not the right professional qualifications. To open the door to the big opportunities as an Early Years Practitioner I knew had to gain HNC Childhood Practice and then a degree – that’s when I applied to College.”
Susie Crane, returned to education with the aim of gaining the professional qualifications to augment over 20 years of a career dedicated to working with families with young children and schools in health and fitness.
Susie explains, “It all began with fitness classes I ran for children when I had a young family of my own. Since then I’ve held positions within Aberdeenshire Council as a Health and Fitness coordinator and worked for Active Schools as well as working for myself offering fitness classes within schools for children of all abilities and those with additional support needs.
“When Covid hit I guess you could say I got a bit of a wake-up call. You see I saw myself as an extension of the schools I worked for – the reality was I was a supplier, so it hit me pretty hard when I was no longer allowed on site. It made me think about what I wanted and I realised I wanted more security and to be part of an organisation. I had the life experience but not the right professional qualifications. To open the door to the big opportunities as an Early Years Practitioner I knew had to gain HNC Childhood Practice and then a degree – that’s when I applied to College.”
The oldest in her class Susie initially found the IT challenging but her confidence grew with the support of her class and lecturers.
She said, “After the initial panic I began to master the basics. Once you get a few wins under your belt it becomes easier and enjoyable! My class were great – I was the oldest – it didn’t matter, I wasn’t treated any differently. Due to the pandemic my course was taught online so I got to know my class and lecturers through Microsoft teams and WhatsApp groups. I found that online study suited me – I had the discipline and because I was still working I could make it all fit.
“A lot of the learning was very relevant to my past roles. It’s helped me join up all the dots – underpinned my experience to date. I just want to take the opportunity to thank my classmates and lecturers – I was made to feel so welcome.”
Susie was the successful recipient of the Rotary Club of Fraserburgh Endeavour Award announced at NESCol’s virtual Graduation Ceremony for Fraserburgh Campus. The award recognises the achievement of an individual who has gone above and beyond in the course of their studies, overcoming challenges to get to where they are today.
Having successfully gained her HNC Susie has now gone straight into Year 2 of Child and Youth Studies BA (Hons) at University of the Highlands and Islands.